On Feb. 18, the Making Accessible and Effective Systems for Teacher Readiness Outcomes (MAESTROs) program on campus held a virtual presentation on the steps to take during students’s educational pathway to becoming a teacher.
Betsi Solis, the outreach, engagement, & student transition coordinator for the MAESTROs program, started the presentation by asking students what grade levels they were most interested in teaching in their careers. Most answers ranged from wanting to teach first through fifth grade with few wanting to teach high school students.
From here, Solis was able to gauge which path students can take based on their responses. She recommended students get their bachelor’s degree as a liberal studies major followed by a year of getting their credentials to teach kindergarten through 6th grade or special education.
Despite this recommendation, students can take a number of paths to becoming the kind of teacher they want to be as explained by Solis and her colleagues. Students from any year and major are welcome to join the MAESTROs program. Anyone who wants to become a teacher qualifies to join the program, no matter the level of credentials they have.
Solis and Margaret Dominguez, the project manager for MAESTROs, want all students to be aware of the steps needed to get teaching credentials based on their desired teaching career.
During their final year, students will need to complete the California Basic Educational Skill Test (CBEST) and/or California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) exams.
However, Dominguez explained California governor Gavin Newsom made it so you don’t have to take the CBEST if you pass certain general education classes with a B or higher. Students should schedule a one-on-one meeting with their credential advisor to look over their transcripts to see if they qualify for an exam waiver.
Students will take a specific CSET exam based on their desired subject to teach. For example, if a student wanted to be a math teacher, they would take the CSET for math. If students want to teach the subject they majored in, they may be able to get the CSET exam waived, depending on their grades.
Students should speak with their advisors to see if they qualify for any exam waivers.
When a student is in their senior year, they will need to start applying for credential programs to take after they graduate. There are three main pathways for credential programs, including elementary education, secondary education (middle and high school), and special education.
Students can apply to any university for their credential programs, but should be sure to look into each credential program because the requirements and steps may vary.
Many credential programs will include requirements such as experience working with youth, first-aid training, an essay on why you want to become a teacher and a formal interview.
Students will need to start applying to credential programs during their final year of their bachelor’s degree if they want to start the program in the summer. It is advised for aspiring teachers to try and maintain grades of B’s or higher, connect with professors and mentors and attend workshops throughout their bachelor’s degree.
For more information, students can meet with someone from MAESTROs to discuss possible programs and pathways for them. Students an email [email protected], Betsi Solis ([email protected]), or Margaret dominguez ([email protected]). To find job opportunities in education, visit https://www.edjoin.org/